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Franklin Spruce Grouse
Falcipennis canadensis franklinii
The Franklin Spruce Grouse is One of the most common reasons that aviary aviculturists choose to purchase a Franklin Spruce Grouse is because it is a very quiet breed. It is also a unique bird to have in one’s collection.
Male and female Franklin Spruce Grouse grow to be around 15.5 inches in length with a wingspan of around 22.4 inches. They tend to have thick, gray bodies and have many of the same characteristics as chickens.
Range: The Pacific Northwest, including the Northern Rocky Mountain and parts of the Cascades.
Habitat: The Spruce Grouse are found in higher elevation spruce and fir forests as well as areas of Lodgepole or Shore pines.
Status in the Wild: Due to diet and habitat issues, the Franklin Spruce Grouse does face increasing conservation concerns.
Status in Aviculture: The Franklin Spruce Grouse is not a common breed to collect. Many obtain for release into the wild.
Breeding and Incubation: Grouse are polygamous. One male will cover a 3-5 acre territory and will keep 2-3 females. Females are almost completely responsible for breeding. The incubation period is around 24 days long. Each egg is about 1.5 inches in length and is light-colored with brown blotches.
Lifespan: The lifespan is typically around five to six years in the wilderness, though there are a few reports of a lifespan longer than thirteen years.
Mature Weight: They can weigh anywhere from 14.1 to 22.9 ounces upon reaching maturity.
Housing Requirements: Franklin Spruce Grouses are most comfortable in habitats that contain spruce, pine, or fir trees. They also enjoy blueberry shrubs in the summer. It is always best to attempt to recreate a natural habitat when housing wild birds. One male can be housed with 2-3 females. Females may fight if adequate space is not provided.
Diet: This particular type of bird normally eats spruce and pine needles, but its diet can get more varied during the winter months.
Miscellaneous Notes: They are very comfortable in trees and rely heavily on immobility and camouflage to protect themselves from potential predators.